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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Locals celebrate Assange’s 50th in the rain

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A small but dedicated group met in Byron to celebrate Julian Assange’s birthday. Photo supplied.

On Saturday a group of people dedicated to seeing Julian Assange free, gathered at Byron Bay’s Main Beach to celebrate Assange’s 50th birthday.

Assange who is a journalist, editor, publisher, activist and founder of Wikileaks in 2006, has been held in Londons Belmarsh maximum security prison since the 11 of April 2019, for breaking rules of his original bail conditions and sentenced to fifty weeks imprisonment.

On the January 4 this year, a London district judge ruled that the request of the United States to extradite him would be ‘oppressive’ in consideration of his mental health.

It looked like Assange would possibly be released when on January 6 his new bail conditions were denied by the appeal of the United States against the extradition decision.

Media boycott

Photo supplied.

Local Free Julian Assange group spokesperson Chibo Mertineit says that there is a media boycott. ‘The BBC, the Guardian and even former supportive US papers like the Washington Post and New York Times, were not writing on Assange,’ said Mr Mertineit. ‘It was the Icelandic paper Stundin reporting last month on June 26, that a key witness of the United States department of justice had admitted to making up accusations in the US indictment case against him.’

Mr Mertineit said it was a sign of hope of his release. ‘The Australian government has not been supportive, so far as they should speak up for every incarcerated Australian.’

Happy, wet birthday celebration

Mr Mertineit says it was a happy but wet, birthday celebration in Byron, kicking off gatherings around the world with the demand to finally set him free. ‘The United States was trying to get Assange after Wikileaks published in 2010 a series of leaks from US intelligence analyst Chelsea Mannings. The most shocking was the video of the attack in Baghdad in 2007 by US Apachi helicopters that killed a dozen people including two Reuters press stuff.

‘As Sweden issued an international warrant for sexual misconduct in November 2010 and Assange lost his case against extradition to Sweden and feared from there to be extradited to the United States, he breached his bail and took asylum in June 2012 in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly seven years.

This gathered were happy to be in the rain and demand that Assange be released, Photo supplied.

‘The Equadorian government withdraw the asylum after a series of disputes and invited the British police to come and collect him in April 2019.

How much longer

‘How much longer will Assange be locked up in horrible isolation and how much longer will we watch when whistleblower and truth-tellers get criminalised while the real criminals never get to court?

‘It’s time to bring Julian Assange home to Australia to live his life with his kids and wife in peace after nearly a decade of incarceration.

‘He deserves our support as do our local independent papers and radio stations.’

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  1. “The Australian government has not been supportive” – its worse than not been supportive, Labors Julia Gillard (the then Prime Minister) wanted to cancel his passport and turn him into a Stateless refugee, despite no conviction on any, on what apear as, politically motivated charges from Sweden or America. Truth is treason in the Politicians kingdoms of lies.

  2. Happy we went to the Rally in Byron on Saturday for Julian, rain but no shine. So outrageous & vindictive to treat a valued journalist like a criminal or worse a terrorist for committing NO crime. I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime, how wrong I was. Our democracy is on death row & we sure don’t want Julian there. That may have happened if he was sent to America, surely that would start a revolution if nothing else would ???? Ummnn not too sure about that , BUT we all must continue to fight for Julians release. BRING JULIAN HOME 🙁


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